Here is a collection of questions we've received from people over the years.
If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to contact us.
What is Chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a health profession. The word comes from ancient Greek. “chiro” means hand, and “practic” refers to what is done, meaning done by hand. Its origins can be traced back up six thousand years but the form of chiropractic that we know is just over one hundred years old. It is based on the fact that our nervous system plays an extremely important role in controlling our inborn ability to preserve health and balance (homeostasis) within the body.
Interference in normal nerve function is therefore bad for our health and general being. Chiropractic is an art, science and philosophy that has one goal. The goal is to find, analize and correct something called “vertebral subluxations.” Vertebral subluxations happen when joints in our spine have lost their position, are swollen, and put pressure on our nervous system, negatively affecting our health.
Individuals who make their health a priority in their life visit a chiropractor regularly. It becomes a part of a health preserving routine of excercising, eating a healthy diet, getting proper rest and so on.
What do chiropractors do?
They correct subluxations. They use their hands to generate a quick, gentle and a specific thrust into the joint, regaining its normal position and motion, reducing the swelling and removing the nerve pressure. This is called a chiropractic adjustment.
What kind of people seek chiropractors help?
Chiropractic patients are all kinds of people at any given age, from newborn babies to people in their later stages of life. The reason is simple, vertebral subluxations can happen to anyone, regardless of age.
Why do people seek chiropractors help?
Nerve pressure can effect peoples health in many different ways. Here are some more complaints of chiropractic patients:
Headaches - Premenstrual pain - Radiating pain in extremities, arms, legs - Pelvic pain, pregnant women - Indigestion - Scoliosis - Dizziness - Allergy - Asthma - Chronic fatigue - Insomnia - Lack of ability to move - Different symptoms resulting from accidents of all kinds - Premenstrual syndrome - Stress - Inability to focus - Attention deficit disorder - Pain in ears - Ear infection - Problem with urine control - A badly functioning immune system - Different kinds of mental dysfunction.
It should be noted that chiropractic is not a therapy for the complaints mentioned here. However, since nerve pressure seriously affects our health, often in ways that can not be predicted, people often experience increased function in different areas of their health when their nervous system is allowed to function without interference.
Is it painful to get adjusted?
An adjustment is gentle, safe and specific. In most cases it is completely painless. If the amount of swelling is great, a small discomfort can be experienced, but it is rare.
Are chiropractors well educated?
Yes, the chiropractic education in the U.S.A. is a five year university program, and is very comprehensive. It is composed of anatomy, neurology, X-ray studies, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, pathology, chiropractic studies and more. Upon graduation the student is awarded the “Doctor of Chiropractic” degree. Chiropractors have the educational quality to render primary health care, meaning that patients can go to a chiropractor without a referral from an M.D. In Iceland the Surgeon General issues a practicing licence for chiropractors that have received their education from accredited chiropractic colleges. Only people with the proper education have the right to call themselves chiropractors.
Is chiropractic dangerous?
The practice of chiropractic is very safe. In the U.S.A. where chiropractic has its origins, chiropractic practitioners pay very low premiums to insurance companies, compared to other practitioners. The insurance companies know that the risk factor is very low, it has been estimated to be about one in a million.
Is it safe to take young children to chiropractors?
Yes. The practice of chiropractic is very safe, also when it comes to adjusting children. It is important to correct subluxations as soon as possible. A small problem can then be prevented from becoming a big one.
What happens if vertebral subluxations are not corrected?
First of all the nerve pressure continues with all of its negative effects on a persons health and quality of life. Since the joint has lost its normal position, its weight bearing is abnormal. As a result the joint will degenerate with time, much faster than it normally would, the disc gets damaged, the joint space becomes smaller and function becomes limited. This development cannot be reversed, the damage is here to stay.
Should I go to a chiropractor even if I feel good?
Absolutely. A vertebral subluxation, affecting our function in a negative way can be totally without pain. It can be necessary to be adjusted even if there are no symptoms present. Remember, many serious disease processes can be without symptoms, for example the processes before a heart attack or a stroke. Symptoms, or lack of symptoms are a poor measure of health at best.
What is good health?
When the word health is mentioned many things come to mind. For example not being sick, eating healthy and exercising regularly. These may all be important things for our health but the formal definition of the word has to do with having as close to 100% function, physically, mentally and socially as possible for any given individual.
Can I adjust myself by “cracking” my back?
No you can not. To really change the position and function of a joint to the better you need specificity in the analysis and moving of the joint. Chiropractors can not even adjust themselves, they need to see another chiropractor to get an adjustment.
What causes a joint to loose its position?
It takes trauma of some kind: mechanical, chemical or emotional. A trauma mechanical in nature can be from a fall, an accident for an example. A chemical trauma can be toxins, food additives and things of that kind. An emotional trauma can be losing a relative, a divorce, negative thoughts, stress of any kind in peoples lives.
Is it safe for pregnant women to go to a chiropractor?
Yes, not only is it safe but very necessary. During pregnancy women experience changes in their body function. Hormonal changes, increased weight and altered weight bearing can cause problems in their spines.
When it comes to giving birth the autonomic nervous system controls the labour. Being free of nerve pressure that can otherwise disrupt the birth process is extremely important.
If joints in the low back, lumbar or sacro-iliac joints are abnormally positioned it can cause the birth canal to be more narrow affecting the birth process negatively.
What can I do to help my healing process?
Your behavior can be imperative in getting the results desired. It is important to eat healthy, exercise and get plenty of rest. In our office you will get detailed information on how to go about doing certain things without hurting yourself, like your work, sitting, sleeping and so on. Possibly you will get an advice on using cold packs. It is important to follow the advice you get as accurately as you can. Then we are more likely to get the results we desire.
If I go to a chiropractor, do I have to go for the rest of my life?
No, it is always your decision how long you decide to benefit from chiropractic care.
Why is there a cracking noise when a joint is adjusted?
When the two surfaces of the joint are moved apart rapidly, as happens in a chiropractic adjustment, there is a change of pressure within the joint space. You hear the sound but it is insignificant. It is of the same nature as the sound heard when a bottle of champagne is opened.
Do chiropractors use different methods?
Yes, in chiropractic as in other professions there are different ways of doing things. It is the moral duty of those who study chiropractic to practice in a way that is most likely to get the best results for the patients seeking help. We at Kírópraktík are convinced that the Gonstead system serves the interests of our patients in the best way possible.
Why do chiropractors use X-rays in their practice?
Chiropractors have the education, knowledge and experience to own and operate X-ray machines and to analyze the resulting films. The X-rays give specific information on the position of joints, the general state of the skeletal system and possible degeneration. They also help in ruling out many serious disease processes, broken bones and fractures. Each person is unique, has a unique problem and needs to be examined as specifically as possible. During the first visit the patients need for an X-ray is evaluated and a decision is made accordingly. X-rays give information that enable the chiropractor to give the patient the best care possible.
Can chiropractic help athletes?
Absolutely. When the skeletal system is properly aligned and our nervous system functions properly without interference we have optimal conditions to excel in whatever sport we choose to participate in. We minimize the danger of injuries and we are likely to heal faster from existing injuries.
Many of the best athletes in history have used chiropractic care to increase their performance, Tiger Woods, Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Michael Jordan, Kaka, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Arnold Schwarzenegger to name a few. In any sport the performance is dependant on a normally functioning nervous system and that the joints in the athletes skeletal system are properly aligned and freely movable.
Often athletes injure their extremeties, knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, shoulders. Chiropractic care can be of great help, getting the joint into its proper position and normalizing its motion.
Sometimes knee and ankle injuries result from a badly positioned pelvic girdle or from one leg being shorter than the other. The knees and the ankles are then likely to bear its weight abnormally. This can cause injuries and lead to premature degeneration.
Soft tissue injuries are also common, pain in muscles and tendons. The athlete often only receives therapy that focuses on the that painful spot. It is important to keep in mind that the cause may be pressure on the very nerve that controls the tissue in trouble, and/or a joint or a skeletal problem. Therefore the function of the tissue is abnormal. When the tissue is used in a serious sport, it doesn’t function normally and is vulnerable to injury.
Many athletes see a big improvement in their performance once they are under regular chiropractic care, as a preventative measure, and a treatment for possible injuries and to maximize their performance.